Virginia Tech® home

Filtration, Treatment, and Maintenance Considerations for Micro-Irrigation Systems


442-757 (BSE-222P)

Authors as Published

Julie Shortridge, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech; and Brian Benham, Professor and Extension Specialist, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech

This publication is available in an enhanced digital version and PDF.

Micro-irrigation systems can deliver water and nutrient in precise amounts and at controlled frequencies directly to the plant’s root zone. With micro-irrigation systems an extensive network of pipe is used to distribute water to emitters that discharge it in droplets, small steams, or through mini-sprayers. The major cause of failure in micro-irrigation systems is emitter plugging. Emitter plugging can severely degrade irrigation system performance and application uniformity. The goal of this document is to provide information on common water quality problems that can lead to emitter clogging, and how these problems can be addressed through water treatment and system maintenance. This should help producers identify, prevent, diagnose, and address clogging problems in their micro-irrigation systems.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law

Publication Date

May 24, 2023